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National Postal Museum

Smithsonian National Postal Museum

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The National Postal Museum supports a wide variety of interdisciplinary research projects. These projects address research topics of importance such as current and future postal operations, as well as philatelic and postal history. Our exhibits and lectures, educational programming and outreach efforts are

a resource and point of reference for research and wider investigation by historians throughout the United States and the world.


Research Announcements:

Travers Papers Finding Guide
Posted 4/16/2014

Catherine Manning Papers and Documents Finding Guide
Posted 2/24/2014

Valentine’s Day Postcards and the New Woman
Posted 2/18/2014

Republic of Liberia Finding Guide
Posted 1/28/2014

A Historical Synthesis of the Cuban Mail System
Posted 01/9/2014

Zeppelin Hindenburg Crash Mail Documents Finding Guide
Posted 12/4/2013

Now Available: Proceedings of the First International Symposium on Analytical Methods in Philately
Posted 10/22/2013

The Eighth Annual Postal History Symposium: Development of Transoceanic Air Mail Service
Posted 10/17/2013

Col. Hans Lagerloef Specialized Collection of the Aquinaldo Revolutionary Stamps Finding Guide
Posted 9/13/2013

The U.S. Postal Service’s Financial Condition: A Primer
Posted 7/30/2013

Howard H. Koslow Collection Finding Guide
Posted 7/23/2013

Carl T. Herrman Collection Finding Guide
Posted 4/15/2013

The Untold Story of the ZIP Code
Posted 4/15/2013

7th Annual Postal History Symposium Papers & Presentations
Posted 1/2/2013

Research Announcements Archive: 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008

Research Resources

Winton M. Blount cartoon

Find more information about past, and upcoming National Postal Museum symposiums, including the Winton M. Blount Postal History Symposium.

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Smithsonian National Postal Museum Scholarship
The Museum is pleased to announce a scholarship for the research of postage stamps or postal history leading to publication.

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Institute for Analytical Philately
IAP is an educational institution dedicated to applying analytical techniques to philatelic studies which are intended to provide long term and wide ranging benefits to all aspects of philately.

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Industry White Papers
White papers examine the opportunities that are used by postal leaders to transform postal services by introducing new services that bridge the physical and electronic worlds, and how postal industries address how they put their services into practice.

National Air-mail Weel poster

Finding Guides
The Museum has created research guides for collections that are frequently accessed or that have additional research potential. These guides provide concise descriptions of the scope and content, provenance and list of materials for each collection.


Arago, the Museum's educational and research Web site, presents the collections in a context-rich setting with full color images and zoom-in capability.

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Museum Library
The National Postal Museum's library houses one of the world's largest collections of postal history and philatelic literature.


Online Articles
The National Postal Museum would like to share research and educational materials through these online articles.

EnRoute cover

Articles from EnRoute
The Museum's EnRoute newsletter published articles covering various aspects of postal history and philately.

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Photographic Archives
Historical photographs and images of items in the collection can be ordered online.

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Topical Reference Pages
Browse these pages to discover resources organized by topic.

Video Zone

Video Zone
The Museum’s digital video resources include special features, lectures, historical footage and exhibit videos.

State Postal History Directory

State Postal History Registry
Experts in philatelic postal history are offering their time and know-how through the State Postal History Registry.

Smithsonian Magazine

Smithsonian Magazine Online
Smithsonian magazine is the Smithsonian Institution's membership magazine. Since the National Postal Museum opened in 1993, the magazine has celebrated the museum and its collection in a number of ways.

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External Research Links
Links to philatelic and postal history Web sites in the United States and around the world.


Volunteer Arago Researcher Program

Frequently Asked Questions

Online Exhibits

The Collection

Curriculum Guides

Scheduling a Preservation Lecture

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